Coauthored Academic Paper Takes Home Top Prize

An academic paper coauthored by researchers at LSU’s College of Engineering and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has been named “Best Paper” by the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Petrochemical Research.

The award-winning paper discusses the characterization and activity of Rh-substituted pyrochlores for dry reforming, a process that converts natural gas and CO2 to syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that’s widely used in chemical industries. The National Energy Technology Laboratory and LSU are together studying the Department of Energy’s patented pyrochlore catalyst technology for dry reforming reaction.

The paper is co-authored by current and former LSU students and professors, including Devendra Pakhare, a 2014 Ph.D. graduate of the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering; Jerry Spivey, a professor in that department and Pakhare’s advisor; Savinay Narendra, a graduate student; and Daniel Haynes, a former master’s student who now works at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“This paper exemplifies our joint research with NETL,” Spivey said. “The catalysts we are working on are ones that require extremely demanding conditions…”

In addition to the title recognition, the team received a certificate, a medal and a $5,000 cash prize. The award has also helped realize the commercial potential of the technology highlighted in the paper.

“[We] are finding commercial applications,” he continued, “such as fuel cells and other clean energy processes.”

The NETL has executed an exclusive licensing agreement Pyrochem Catalyst Corporation, a small business licensed by the U.S. Department of Energy where Pakhare now works. The NETL will collaborate with Pyrochem to further develop pyrochlore catalysts for use in fuel cell-based auxiliary power units and other commercial and military power applications.


For more information, contact Sydni Dunn at 225-578-5706, or at